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Respect school code of conduct, Angie tells pupils and teachers after viral hair video

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Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga has urged schools to enforce their codes of conduct and called for pupils and teachers to adhere to the code.

Minister Angie Motshekga. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

BASIC Education Minister Angie Motshekga has urged schools to enforce their codes of conduct in the wake of a viral video which saw a teacher forcefully brush the hair of pupils with uncombed hair.

Motshekga said pupils and teachers had a responsibility and an obligation to abide by the code of conduct.

She said that the Gauteng Education Department had taken the correct steps in investigating the matter and expressed “concern” in the manner that the teacher had forcefully combed the pupil’s hair.

“While the incident is unfortunate, it is critical to ensure that the school’s code of conduct as specified in the South African Schools Act is adhered to at all times, but also that teachers do not inadvertently mistreat learners.

“In terms of the South African Schools Act, Section 8 (4) every school has a binding code of conduct for both learners and teachers, and therefore, it is a correct step for the Gauteng Education MEC to have started a prompt investigation into the matter recorded on video.

“The Department of Basic Education has clear guidelines regarding the code of conduct for both teachers and learners.

“The school governing body of this particular school, as our trusted stakeholder representing parents, will take part in dealing with the matter,” said Motshekga.

She said the DBE would await the outcome of the investigation launched by Gauteng Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi on Tuesday.

Lesufi ordered the probe to investigate and verify a viral video that shows a teacher forcefully combing the hair of young boys as they enter the school premises.

The school has not yet been identified.

Lesufi, in response to the video, said: “This is completely unacceptable”.

Schools’ codes of conduct routinely stipulate that hair should be kept neat and tidy. But in recent years the issue of hair and schools has become a sensitive subject after Pretoria High School for Girls was rocked by fierce protests after black girls were not allowed to wear their Afros.

The recent incident left Twitter divided, as some sided with the teacher enforcing the code of conduct, while others said pupils should be left to wear their natural hair as is.

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